Roman and Greek conventions


· Body painting
· Started using animal skins little by little
· Later introduced real costumes such as the chiton and the hemateon
·  Chiton was linen or silk and was worn long
·  Hemateon was exterior cloth usually worn over the shoulders
· In order to play female roles since it was always men they wore a prosterneda in front of the chest, to imitate female breasts and progastreda in front of the belly
· Usually wore normal shoes such as laced boots and loose fitting boots
· Some believe that they wore high heels called a kothornoi
· Chiton – A long robe made of linen or silk (derived from the Greek word meaning tunic).
· Himation – Made of heavy wool, and worn as a cloak on the shoulders over a chiton.
· Prosterneda – Men actors wore this to imitate a woman’s breasts.
· Progastreda – Worn by men actors in from of their stomachs to imitate a woman.
· Wearing a purple costume portrayed you as a rich man
· Wearing short cloaks portrayed you as a soldier
· Red costumes portray poor people
· Striped robe is a boy
· Yellow were girls
· Wearing a tassel signified that you were a god

· Each person had a their own distinctive mask
· They were large and had exaggerated expressions so everyone could see them
· Actors had multiple masks so they could play multiple roles
· They also amplified the actors voices so the audience could hear them clearly
· They were color coded:  Brown masks indicated a man, and white masks were meant for women

· Not much attention was paid to makeup because the actors face was usually covered by a mask

· Easily constructed
· Roman costumes mirrored traditional Greek clothing in the Roman Theatre
· Roveyed emotions
· The design of the mask was quite simple and they were made from were made cheap materials such as linen or cork
· The masks were color coded, brown for men and white for women
Scenic Elements of Greek Theatre #zach

· Mechane- a mechanism that gave the impression of a flying actor
· Ekkyklema- a wheeled platform often used to bring dead actors onto stage
· Trap Doors- used to lift people onto stage from under the stage
· Pinakes- Pictures hung to create scenery
· Thyromata- more complex pictures to built into the second level scene.
· Skene- the building directly behind the stage for theatrical purposes
· Parodos- Passageways that were used for
· actors and chorus to enter and exit
· Performed outdoor, some started at daybreak because they wanted a low light.
Scenic Elements of Roman Theatre
· Had a curtain that could be raised or lowered to reveal a scene
· Trap doors were used to lift and remove people from the stage
· Height of the stage was 5 feet. Enough for actors and props to hide in the under space

Sound   #Alexandra
Roman entrance to the  orchestra, typically between thecavea  and the  scaena,  one on either side of the orchestra; corresponds to the  parodos  in the Greek theatre
chorodidaskalos ( kaw-roh-dih-DÆS-ka-luss ): (Greek) Chorus director; taught songs/dances to chorus; originally performed as well.
Chorus sang most of play in order to narrate it and tell a background story, perspective, respond to what is happening, and used rythmic chanting or singing to explain things.


Greek and Roman History

cities of ancient Greece 500 AD-300BC

cities of ancient Greece 500 AD-300BC

greek history

Greek soldiers fighting for their city

Roman empire

Roman empire during 410 AD

Example of the helmets Roman soldiers wore during battles


Greek History Timeline

  • 508 B.C. Kleisthenes begins reforming Athenian code of laws, and establishes a democratic constitution
  • 497 B.C. Persian Wars begin
  • 490 B.C. Athenians defeat Darius and his Persian Army at the Battle of Marathon
    • Greek Historian Herodotus, known as the “Father of History”, is born
  • 480 B.C. Xerxes marches on Greece
    • Battle of Thermopylae
    • Persians burn the Acropolis
    • Athens defeated Persians fleet at naval battle of Salamis
  • 479 B.C. Greeks defeat the Persian army at the Battle of Plateae
  • 461 B.C. First Peloponnesian Wars begin
    • last until 445 B.C.
  • 446 B.C. Thirty- year peace treaty between Athens and Sparta end first Peloponnesian War
  • 431 B.C. Second Peloponnesian Wars begins
  • 430 B.C. Plague in Athens
  • 427 B.C. Plato, Greek philosopher is born
  • 421 B.C. Peace of Nicias
  • 420 B.C. Construction of Temple of Athena Nike begins
    • ends in 410 B.C.
  • 418 B.C. Athenians resume war (Spartans defeat Athens at Mantinea)
  • 413 B.C. Syracuse defeats Athens
  • 404 B.C Athens surrenders to Sparta and is ruled by 30 Tyrants
  • 403 B.C. Democracy restored in Athens
  • 338 B.C. Macedonian army defeats Athens
  • 336 B.C. Alexander the Great becomes King of Macedonia
  • 334 – 326 B.C. The armies of Alexander invade Asia and conquer from Egypt to India, establishing the Alexandrian Empire
  • 323 B.C Alexander the Great dies
  • 279 B.C. Invasion of Greece by Gauls
  • 238 B.C. Gauls defeated by King Attalus I
  • 214 – 204 B.C. First Macedonian War
    • Rome defeats Philip V of Macedon
  • 200 – 196 B.C. Second Macedonian War
    • Victory of Flamininus at Cynoscephalae
  • 172 – 167 B.C. Third Macedonian War
    • Macedonia divided into 4 republics
  • 146 B.C. Rome invades Greece and rules from then on
  • 31 B.C. Battle of Aktion
  • 30 B.C. End of “Ancient Greece” period


Romans Create a Republic

Rome was founded by the Latin people. They founded Rome on a river in the center of Italy, which gave them control by putting them in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Though their location gave them great control they were not the only group of people that lived in Italy. The land was also inhabited by the Greeks, in the south, and the Etruscan, in the north. The Romans borrowed idea from both cultures while coming into their own.
Rome has not always been the republic we think. Rome use to be ruled by an Etruscan king, and grew into an extravagant city. In 509 B.C. Rome overthrew their king, and is declared a republic, swearing rome would never have a king again. This is the first time we truly see people voting to choose their leaders. Much like the present, two groups struggled for power in their new republic – the wealthy nobles and the common people. The common people eventually prevailed gaining more rights. Their original laws and regulations were called the Twelve Tables,and their protected all the people.
From 264 to 146 B.C. Rome and Carthage fought three bitter wars. Rome gained Sicily as the spoils of the first war. The second war, Carthage dealt great damage to Italy. Finally, in the third war, Rome defeated Carthage once again completely destroying the city. In decades to come Rome also conquered Greece, Macedonia, Spain, and parts of modern day Turkey, allowing them to control the Mediterranean Sea.

The Roman Empire Brings Change

Rome’s victories brought conflict between rich and poor, which led to Rome erupting in civil war. Amidst all the conflict Julius Caesar tried to take over with the help of Cassius and Pompey. These three men led Rome for the next ten years. With all the fame and glory Caesar was receiving, Pompey became fearful of Caesar. The two fought another civil war that lasted several years. After he won, Caesar took charge of the government. Though his actions gained popularity they raised mistrust in members of the Senate, and they later murdered him. This led to another civil war where Augustus took power, and ruled the entire empire. For the next 200 years the Roman Empire would become a great power, even though they had some not so efficient rulers. The empire stretched around the Mediterranean, from modern Syria to Turkey, west and north to England and Germany. Trade and farming were now extremely important to the empire. The quality of life you lived was directly affected by your social position. One third of the empire’s population were slaves. Adult women in Rome enjoyed more rights than most citizens.

The Rise of Christianity

Romans had a major impact on Christianity. One groups land that was taken was the Jews. Roman leaders, on occasion, would punish Christians when they refused to worship the Roman gods. They would be put to death or killed by wild animals in the arena. In A.D. 313, Constantine declared that Christians were no longer to be persecuted. Decades later, Christianity was declared the empire’s official religion.


Medieval, Tudor, and Commedia Plays&Playwrights

A Brief Description of Medieval Theatre

Medieval Theatre


Hrosvitha was one of the most notable playwrights during the medieval time period. She was born 935 A.D and died in the year 1000. She was classified in being an early medieval dramatist and chronicler and she was a famous nun of Gandersheim who lived during the time period of emperor Otto the Great. Moreover, most of her writing consisted in rhymed prose and they were meant to provide edification for her sister nuns. Hrosvitha’s works embodied Christian themes and they were also meant for reading rather than performance. Not only is she a famed playwright during the medieval period, she was one of the first female playwrights while being a cononess, poet, dramatist and historian. Her famous plays were “The Life Story of the Blessed Virgin”, “The Fall and Conversion of Theophilus, “The Martyrdom of Saint Agnes”, poems concerning the First Cenobites at Gandersheim, and “The Acts of Otto I”. Most of her works were written in Latin.

john suckling

Suckling was born at Whitton, between Twickenham and Hounslow, Middlesex, on February 10, 1609.Suckling matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1623 but left without taking a degree in 1626. Just eighteen years old, he pursued a military and ambassadorial career in the Low Countries, and joined the English soldiers serving in the army of Gustavus Adolphus during the Thirty Years’ War. It was much influenced by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and is generally thought to be Suckling’s best.he was the author of this play, Why so pale and wan, fond lover?”

Adam de la Halle

Adam de la Halle was French. He wrote a musical play, “The Play of Robin and Marion.”
…As court poet and musician to the Count d’Artois, he visited Naples and became famous for his polyphony as well as his topical productions, which are considered the predecessors of comic opera. Jeu de Robin et de Marion is a dramatization of the pastoral theme of a knight’s wooing of a pretty shepherdess, with dances and peasants’ dialogue. Jeu du pélérin…

Tudor Drama

Nicholas Udall

Nicholas Udall
was an English playwright, cleric, and schoolmaster. Udall He lived through the years 1504-1556 and his original name was “Woodall”, however, he Latinized it as Udallus, and thence Anglicized it as Udall. He was famed during the Tudor Drama and wrote many famous works. One of his most famous plays that he written is “Ralph Roister Doister”, and because it was his most credible piece of work, it is inferred that he had performed it for Queen Mary as entertainment around 1553. Also, his comedy was regarded as the first of its genres written in the English language. Nicholas Udall was also the author of a Latin textbook while using its material for his comedy as well as the works by the Roman poet Terence. Udall also translated different works, like “Apopthegms” by Eramus and Pietro Martire’s “Discourse on the Eucharist” and Thomas Gemini’s “Anatomia”

Ben johnson


Ben Jonson was born in 1572 in London, England. He was a father, minister, and a very famous play righter. Jonson wrote several plays including “Every Man in His Humor”, “Volpone”, and “Alchemist” which were among the most popular of his plays. His admirers called themselves the “Tribe of Ben” which met regularly at the Mermaid Tavern and later on at the Devil’s Head. Jonson was friends with several of the other famous writers of his day including people such as Shakespeare, John Donne, and Francis Bacon. In 1637 Jonson died and a tremendous crowd of mourners attended his burial at Westminster Abbey.

EveryMan in His Humor (among the most popular)


Christopher Marlow (26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593) was an English Dramatic play writer, poet and translator of his time. The era was the Elizabethan Era. William Shakespeare was the man who influenced him. Marlowe died of a mysterious early death. A warrant for Christopher’s arrest was issued. No one knows why. People think it was for blasphemy. He wrote the Plays Dido, Queen of Carthage (c.1586), Tamburlaine, part 1 (c.1587), Tamburlaine, part 2 (c.1587–1588), The Jew of Malta (c.1589), Doctor Faustus (c.1589, or, c.1593), Edward II (c.1592) and The Massacre at Paris (c.1593).

Commedia dell’Arte


The world is a beautiful book, but of little use to him who cannot read it”.

Carlo Goldoni.

Carlo Goldoni was born in 1707 in Venice, Italy and died in Paris, France in 1793. Goldoni uses the term ‘La commedia dell’arte in his play Il teatro comico “Comic Theatre”. He was a famous Italian playwright who was also most criticized by other playwrights like Carlo Gozzi due to how Goldoni has “neglected” poetry and “imagination” in drama due to his interest in comedy. Since he subsided in Paris, he wrote Le Bourru bienfaisant on the occasion of Louis XVI’s marriage to Marie Antoinette. Most of his works and memoirs were written by him and had the utmost liveliness, carless, light-hearted while being respectable and high-quality amount of work. This may be partly explained by the absence in comedy of a literary style which at the same time was national. Goldoni gave to his country a classical form, which, though it has since been cultivated, has never been cultivated by a master. Goldoni also attempted to write a dramatic play called Amalasunta, however, it was unsuccessful. Goldoni wrote over 250 plays and consisted of masked characters of la commedia dell’arte or comedies of manners/comedies of errors (without masks); L’adulatore, “The Flatterer”
L’amante di se medesimo, “The Lover of Himself”
Gli amanti timidi o sia L’imbroglio de’ due ritratti, “The Shy Lovers” or “The Affair of the Two Portraits”
L’amore paterno o sia La serva riconoscente, “Paternal Love” or “The Grateful Maidservant”
Gli amori di Alessandro Magno, “The Loves of Alexander the Great”
Gli amori di Zelinda e Lindoro, “The Love of Zelinda and Lindoro”
Les amours d’Arlequin et de Camille, “The Love of Harlequin And Camilla”
L’amante militare, “The Military Lover” are just some of his works.